Blogger: Lyn Robison
An interesting article in the New York Times asks, "Are the Glory Days Long Gone for I.T.?" I would say, yes and no. Yes, the glory days are gone in that we will never return to the way that enterprise IT was a few years ago. But no, the glory days of IT are still ahead if we as IT people are smart enough and open-mined enough to adapt and innovate.
Productivity is the (best) way out of a recession, and an interesting blog post in the Wall Street Journal echoes Alan Greenspan’s opinion that enterprise IT materially contributed to the productivity of the U.S. economy during the 1990s. The WSJ blog also says that IT lifted productivity again after the 2001 recession.
The WSJ blog post says that productivity is up again now (which fact is verified here), but largely because businesses have laid off their unproductive employees. The WSJ warns that “unless a new source of productivity besides nimble labor markets emerges” the recovery from this recession might not be as long-lasting as in the 1990s and 2000s.
Enterprise IT has brought the economy out of recession twice now by improving productivity (during the 1990s and again after the 2001 recession). Can we in IT be that “new source of productivity” yet again?
I think we can. The 1990’s productivity gains came as a result of the conquest of data silos in the supply chain (according to Alan Greenspan). The WSJ says that after the 2001 recession, the productivity gains came from the conquest of data silos beyond the supply chain in manufacturing, and into the “wholesale and retail trade (dubbed the Wal-Mart effect)”.
I believe we have an opportunity now to conquer data silos throughout the entire enterprise. (One way to do that is using MODS, which you can learn more about by clicking here.) The technology exists for us to do this today. We in IT just have to become open-minded and forward-thinking enough to use it.